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INFRONT 2013 FINDS PLAYERS TAKING SEATS, UPPING GAME AT THE ANNUITY TABLE 2013 Finds Players Taking Seats, Upping Game at the Annuity Table Companies are upping their stakes in new annuity markets. By Linda Koco T here was something for just about every annuity wonk in the beginning of 2013. Forethought is moving forward as a variable annuity player. ING has snatched up a former Hartford Financial exec to head its fixed annuity business. And, four new products debuted (two deferred income annuities, a new fixed indexed annuity and a new “simpler” variable annuity). If that has you panting for more, read on for a few details and takeaways: Forethought The announcement that Forethought Financial Group has completed the previously announced acquisition of the 8 individual annuity new business capabilities of The Harford Financial is a dazzler as is news that the company plans to launch its first variable annuity in first quarter 2013. Forethought has already opened offices in Simsbury, Conn., and Berwyn, Pa., to support the annuity business, and says it will distribute through a broker-dealer which it acquired from The Hartford and has since named Forethought Distributors. Takeaway: The industry now knows for sure that Forethought means to be a player in variable annuities, not just a sign-holder. Annuity pros will therefore be interested in seeing what that new Forethought variable annuity will look like. The fact that the company isn’t starting from scratch, it bought Hartford’s product management, distribution and marketing units, will InsuranceNewsNet Magazine » February 2013 be important to advisors. After all, Forethought is not a household name in variable annuity circles – not yet, anyhow – so the advisors will want to know about bench strength. For the same reason, it doesn’t hurt that Robert Arena will lead the annuity organization, called Forethought Annuity; he previously led The Hartford’s individual annuity business so he knows the ropes. ING This company just hired David Bedard to lead its fixed annuities business. His name should ring a bell. Bedard was formerly executive vice president of global annuities for The Hartford Financial Services Group and earlier served as chief financial officer of the firm’s wealth management business. Now, as ING U.S.’s new president of annuities, Bedard is charged

February 2013

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